Glen MacLarty, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 2.0
Glen MacLarty, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 2.0

This Virtual Recipe Could Be the Future of Cooking

Glen MacLarty, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 2.0
Glen MacLarty, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 2.0

Before photography was widespread, home cooks could only refer to the text of a recipe and hope that whatever came out of the oven looked like it was supposed to. Now, we have high-definition photos and instructional videos to help guide us on the path to culinary perfection—and if the clip below is any indication, augmented reality may be the next visual recipe tool to infiltrate our kitchens.

As Co.Design reports, this tutorial created by "3D Scanning Enthusiast" Romain Rouffet captures every layer of a banoffee (banana and toffee) pie in three dimensions. Viewers can drag their cursor around the screen to view the pie from above, from the sides, or close-up. The action in the video mimics the instructions written in the recipe in the sidebar, starting with the crackers getting crushed to form the foundation and leading to the sprinkling of chocolate on top of the final layer of whipped cream.

The project makes for a neat effect, but it also opens the door for a whole new way to share recipes. If home cooks were able to visualize a meal unfolding on their countertops using augmented reality, it might increase their chances of success when they set out to recreate it in real life.

Until this point, AR has mostly been used in video games or social media apps. But there have been practical applications of the technology, like IKEA’s feature that lets shoppers test-run virtual furniture, or the INKHUNTER app that lets users try out tattoos before getting them. Romain Rouffet doesn’t have his own app yet, but you can use his creation on Sketchfab to make a banoffee pie with or without a pair of VR goggles.

[h/t Co.Design]

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Alexa Can Now Help You Find a Wine Pairing
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iStock

Even if you enjoy wine regularly, you may not know exactly how you’re supposed to pair it with food. But you don’t have to be a sommelier to put together a good pairing at home. According to Lifehacker, you can just ask Alexa.

An Alexa skill called Wine Finder is designed to help you figure out which wine varietal would go best with whatever food you’re planning to eat. You just have to ask, “What wine goes well with … ”

Created by an app developer called Bloop Entertainment, the Amazon Echo skill features a database with 500 wine pairings. And not all of them are designed for someone working their way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The skill will also help you find the proper pairing for your more casual snacks. In one demo, the skill recommends pairing nachos with a Sauvignon blanc or Zinfandel. (Note that the latter also goes well with Frito pie.)

You can also ask it to find you the perfect wine to drink with apple pie and pizza, in addition to the meats, cheeses, and other wine-pairing staples you might expect. However, if you ask it what to pair with hot dogs, it says “water,” which is an affront to hot dog connoisseurs everywhere.

There are a few other wine-pairing skills available for Alexa, including Wine Pairings, Wine Pairings (two different skills), and Wine Expert. But according to user reviews, Wine Finder is the standout, offering more and higher-quality suggestions than some of the other sommelier apps.

It’s free to enable here, so drink up.

[h/t Lifehacker]

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Elsie Hui, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Sam's Club Brings $.99 Polish Hot Dogs to All Stores After They're Cut From Costco's Food Courts
Elsie Hui, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Elsie Hui, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

In early July, Costco angered many customers with the announcement that its beloved Polish hot dog was being removed from the food court menu. If you're someone who believes cheap meat tastes best when eaten in a bulk retail warehouse, Sam's Club has good news: The competing big box chain has responded to Costco's news by promising to roll out Polish hot dogs in all its stores later this month, Business Insider reports.

The Polish hot dog has long been a staple at Costco. Like Costco's classic hot dog, the Polish dog was part of the food court's famously affordable $1.50 hot dog and a soda package. The company says the item is being cut in favor of healthier offerings, like açai bowls, organic burgers, and plant-based protein salads.

The standard hot dog and the special deal will continue to be available in stores, but customers who prefer the meatier Polish dog aren't satisfied. Fans immediately took their gripes to the internet—there's even a petition on Change.org to "Bring Back the Polish Dog!" with more than 6500 signatures.

Now Sam's Clubs are looking to draw in some of those spurned customers. Its version of the Polish dog will be sold for just $.99 at all stores starting Monday, July 23. Until now, the chain's Polish hot dogs had only been available in about 200 Sam's Club cafés.

It's hard to imagine the Costco food court will lose too many of its loyal followers from the menu change. Polish hot dogs may be getting axed, but the popular rotisserie chicken and robot-prepared pizza will remain.

[h/t Business Insider]

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